Friday

My Unforgettable Story to Untrammeled Stretches of Laos in a Cycle

When hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle . . .

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.

                                                                                               ~Arthur Conan Doyle

laos cyclingAdventure is in my blood. During my childhood, I often implored my father to take me for cycle ride in the cool mornings. He always supported me and kept all my wishes. When I grew up, I eagerly heard adventurous stories of mountain hiking and cycling from my elder brother. All these things induced the seed of adventure within me. Everyone used to call me a bookworm because I used to spend most of the time reading adventurous books and biographies.

After attaining maturity, I left home for adventures. After doing lot of research on various biking tours around the world, my first choice was exploring the cities of France, and then I visited the cities like Melbourne and Sydney. All the tours gave me pleasure but still I was missing something. One day at night I was browsing information about the places of Southeast Asia, and I discovered that Laos is one of the unexplored yet beautiful places for the backpackers. Some of the tour agencies were offering cycling trips to Laos and I just called one of them.

Laos: A Popular Cycling Destination


vietnam cycling toursI read about the country Laos in my geography book. It is a landlocked country preserving its rich culture and beauty. The mountains and the hilly roads offer great cycling adventures. I never felt this country can be so perfect for cycle rides. Though I have gone for numerous cycle rides to the countries like France, Australia and U.S.A, but there was a magnet in Laos that was attracting me. The silent mountain valleys and the lonely river banks call for adventure. It is true that Cycling tours across Laos are great and memorable.

Cycling Around Luang Prabang


My cycling ride started from Luang Prabang. The main city is located on a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong River. Our team started cycling among the busiest streets and first visited the golden monasteries and temples. I just loved the small monks who were playing in the near the shrines. I wish I could bring one of them to my home. We rode to the waterfalls and had a bath in the clear waters. It made us all energetic. Then our next destination was Wat Xieng Thong, which is an ancient pagoda built in 16th century. Traveling through the roads and villages, I saw wooden houses with decorative hangings of wood on the balconies. The locals sitting on the balconies waved hands towards us. The feeling was very nice.

Next day, we rode to Pak Ou Caves, which was north to Luang Prabang. We kept our cycles on the entrance of the caves and entered to explore the inner beauty. I was surprised to see the hundreds of miniature sculptures of Buddha inside the caves. Each and every statue reveals different postures. We enjoyed cycling in this place for 1 and half days; then we headed towards Vientiane.

Vientiane to Vang Vieng


I reached Vientiane, the Laotian capital in my cycle. It is located on the Mekong River bank. I found similarity of this place with France as it was a French colony previously. Our team visited the main attraction of this town, “the city of sandalwood” which is a huge Buddhist stupa. This stupa is popularly known as Pha That Luang. I previously heard about Wat Si Muang, which is famous for silk. I turned my cycle to this city and visited some of the silk garment stores. Our team stayed in this city for one day, and our next day journey was towards Vang Vieng.

I was excited to visit the limestone karst hills. There our team enjoyed kayaking and tubing in the relaxed weather. We dined in Hmong village. We loved the local food. We also climbed the limestone rocks. It was a great feeling to reach the top of the peak and view the entire city from that height.

Phonsavan to Bokeo Nature Reserve


My next trip was towards Phonsavan. I found it to be a good place to explore the American grasslands in a Lao style. I found the resemblance of this place with ‘Prairies’ where the cowboys move around wearing violet and brown cowboy hats. I wished to wear those dresses and click photos, but there was very less time. When I was leaving this place in the cycle, I got down from my cycle to see the Plain of Jars. Huge stone jars scattered all around the place. The place was quite mysterious because even a single inhabitant does not know the original cause of making these Jars. I wrapped up my journey with a visit to the Bokeo Nature Reserve.

wooden cottagesAs I love animals, I visited this wildlife park. Our team stayed in the wooden cottages. It was just a superb experience I have ever gone through. My Two-Day stay in this reserve was the best time in my whole trip. Our gang explored the entire forest and we met with the black gibbons. They were sweet yet massive. I also saw animals like elephants, bear, and buffaloes. Here I got some time to click pictures of the wild animals and the forest. At last, making an oath to myself to visit this place again, I returned to Luang Prabang.


I am proud to say that Laos is a country worth a visit. Though I have traveled to many developed countries, I never met such loving locals who were too much friendly with us. This country is quite isolated, but it became one of my favorite places. The mystic beauty and eye-catching landscapes lure me. Still when I turn the pages of my trip album, I find myself in one of the roads of Laos. Cycling tours to Laos were fantastic. I wish to go to this place again and again. Whenever I get a chance, I will surely say…Laos here I come!!!


Wednesday

Found Our Love in Laos- The Magical Destination

“That honeymoon phase is so much fun in real life, when you meet and discover somebody new and fall in love and chase them. The pursuit. And that climactic final moment of ultimate togetherness.”

- Lucas Neff

Laos Adventure Tour

Laos TourWhen we were planning our honeymoon destination, we came to know about the attractive destinations of Laos. Then we decided to start our journey of love to this destination. We opted for this country out of the fact that the country is a secluded and peaceful place for traveling. And obviously this country has some instances of sheer natural bounty.


Laos- Strengthening the Bond of Our Love


Being an isolated country without a sea beach, the country has no trace of deficiency in natural beauty. It was an unbelievable experience for both of us. Laos has done magic in our love life. Though we opted for customized tour, we have got much privacy to enjoy with ourselves. The country is like a honeymoon heaven with stunningly pleasurable destinations.

Warm Welcome of Luang Prabang


If beaches are not the prime priority as a honeymoon destination, then Laos is a stunning honeymoon contender. It offers one of its kind experience to the love birds. We landed on Luang Prabang first, and it was an awesome welcome destination for us. We became close in enjoying this place’s attractive activities. The widest smiles of Lao people made us happier than ever. We spent some unforgettable time in exotic boutique style lodges here. For us, Luang Prabang is the ideal place to unwind after wedding. We have shared some magical moments of our life in Kayaking to Vang Vieng.

The Serenity of Vang Vieng


Tour in LaosThis place is like a rural panorama from an Oriental Silk Painting. It was a true place for us to get closer. It made us crave for more. The experience of vivid, lush greenery to the adventurous cliffs was awesome. We enjoyed trekking together in this destination. Here we have enjoyed shopping in the rural market places. It was a place of ‘bargain, bargain and bargain’. We also enjoyed the drive in a rented scooter in the streets of Laos. We have gone crazy for tubing in the Mekong River. The jaw-dropping picturesque beauty of Nam Khan will make you go crave for more thrills.

The stunningly picturesque spots have made our entire honeymoon worthwhile. The charismatic accommodations have made our trip a special one of our life. We have enjoyed a slow and relaxed pace of life through residing in these fantastic destinations of Laos. Laos Holiday had helped us to find our true love and made the bond of love stronger.

Tuesday

Surrealism Draws Me Back To The Land Of Blue Dragons

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” -T. S. Eliot
Vietnam travel

If someone asks me to travel again and again to any of my previously traveled destinations, the one and only place will be Vietnam, the Land of Blue Dragons. I have visited this country few years back with my family and that experience managed to give me a hangover so strong that I decided to pack my bags and head for Vietnam once again. And this time with the group of my travel freak friends, I have traveled this country for a second time, and it was a jaw-dropping experience for me.


The entire scenario of that interesting country got changed with the development of its tourism sectors. The grandeur of this country was not unknown to me, but this time it reached the utmost level of ecstasy. We thought about choosing Vietnam travel packages, but later we decided to go by ourselves without following any guidebook.

Perfect Thrill Seekers Destination!


I have always been interested about this country since I have read about the Vietnam Wars. I was always curious about the underground Cu Chi Tunnels, where Vietnam armies used to hide during the war. It was our first destination after we reached that country. Descending the steep, narrow path, I crawled through the tunnels with my friends. This moment was great; I had goose bumps during this crawling session.
The tunnels have mesmerized me with the sculpted art on the walls. Visiting the Cu Chi tunnel was like a start with a bang to my journey!

Surreal and Serene Ha Long Bay cruises in Vietnam


Ha Long Bay cruises in VietnamIn the year 1992, movie “Indochine” depicted this place and popularized it to the outer world. Catherine Deneuve described this place "the most remote outpost of Indochina." And till now, it is regarded as "Lord-of-the-Rings" for its exotic water quality. We have traveled long and cherished each step in this amazingly versatile country. I cannot shed off the hangover of relaxing on the junk boat in the Ha Long Bay. I have floated amid the towering limestone cliffs even as dining on appetizing Vietnamese cuisine, together with fresh seafood.

Can’t forget Nha Trang - cocktails at the beach club



Everyday was thrilling and exciting in that country, and the last party was at the beaches of Nha Trang. We are all travelers in that place, and we have gained the best possible happiness from that party. It was an unforgettable party. People here, are always in a mood of partying hard. I have enjoyed that part as it makes me forget about all my worries of my daily life. It was a perfectly rejuvenating part of my entire journey and deserves the proverb “All’s well that ends well”. We danced all night round and relished the exotic cocktails of the beach clubs.


The very next day was the day of our returning, but the entire trip had made me laid back to that tranquil ambiance of Vietnam. I can’t resist myself from seeing the sunset on the sea in a true Mediterranean climate. And yet again, I hope to revisit Vietnam with an aspiration to taste the old rum in a new bottle.


Wednesday

Vietnam and Cambodia Offers Exotic Destinations of Indochina

People always crave for having well planned tour packages that include various attractive destinations. That is why, numerous travel lovers prefer to have a grand tour to South East Asian region. There are several countries in this region that offer most attractive tourist spots of the world. Vietnam and Cambodia are the two most preferred countries among the travelers. Here is some of the most attractive travel destinations of these countries discussed to make you get started.

Exotic Destinations of Vietnam:

  • Nha Trang:


Nha TrangIf you are willing to have a grand holiday to the seaside destination, then Nha Trang will be the best option for you. This is one of the most beautiful beach destinations of this country. The mild temperature of this place attracts huge number of travelers every year. There are numerous attractive activities offered here for travelers. You can surely enjoy having fun with your loved ones by doing adventure activities like scuba diving. Vietnam travel packages include this exotic destination for its natural bounty.

  • Sa Pa Valley:


Sa Pa ValleyThis is an exotic hilly region which has several lush landscapes to drag the attention of travelers. Every year, the tourism industry offers special activities to the travel lovers.  There are various kinds of terraces in these valleys. The local mountain people in this region offer their best hospitality to the foreign travelers.

  • Cu Chui Tunnels:


Cu Chui TunnelsCu Chi Tunnels are an interesting place in this country. It is a huge network under the ground level connecting the tunnels. These tunnels were crafted during the historical Vietnam War period. People love to visit this place just to have a look over the grandeur of Vietnamese art works.

Exotic Destinations of Cambodia:


  • Preah Vihear:


Preah Vihear-amasia travelPreah Vihear is a beautiful place with multiple Khmer temples situated in the middle of this place. You can have a great view of sunrises and sunsets in this area. Most of the temples are dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. In this place, various historical wars were held, and army men were killed during the war.

  • Sihanoukville:


Sihanoukville:This place is regarded as the Gulf of Thailand. The white sand beaches of this destination offers panoramic views to the travelers. During the high seasons, thousands of travelers pour in this place. There are numerous attractive activities offered for travelers.

  • Bayon Temple:


Bayon Temple-amasia travelBayon is a part of the famous spot for Angkor. The temples of this place feature numerous rock structures that are sculpted faces looking in all directions. The curious faces of this place offer several attractions to the travelers.

So, if you are willing to have a grand holiday to South East Asian region, then you have to get Vietnam and Cambodia travel packages. It will surely offer you some memorable days of your life.

Tuesday

My Stint with Laos: The Land of Enchantment

Finally managed to visit Laos! The first day of my ten long day stay in Laos, I woke up in the capital city of Laos. Backpacking through Southeast Asia, I had plans to enjoy the stunning waterfalls, healthy cuisines, smiling locals and Buddhist temples undiscovered by ordinary traveler in Laos. Most visitors spend one or two days in the capital city before heading back to Bangkok. But my visit to this land of delight helped me find the real gems of Southeast Asia.

Vientiane


Vientiane
I planned to go easy on the first day at Vientiane. The city of Moon, I spent my day enjoying a leisurely walk on the streets to take in the feel of being in a relaxed and comfortable locale completely different from the crowded and noisy destinations. In the following days of my stay, I found this to be the friendliest place in Laos. A visit to the Golden Stupa, the biggest as well as the most magnificent stupas, I found it to be different from the temples and stupas in Thailand.




Vang Vieng


PureLaosInfamous for crazy parties, you need not be scared off. Though I was discouraged to visit this place, I found this destination has several other attractions apart from the insane parties. With beautiful scenic beauty, this place is perfect for travelers with an adventurous disposition. I recommend everyone to visit this destination if you are eager to get a taste of adventure tour in Laos. I had a great time climbing the cliffs, taking rides on tubes and boats and visiting the unexplored locales.

Luang Prabang


Luang Prabang-PurelaosThe former capital, it is hard to miss the UNESCO World Heritage city. I loved exploring the stunning waterfalls and the caves here. The former royal palace, Haw Kham was worth a visit. The Golden Palace houses a sacred Buddha image kept in richly ornamented shrine. I also loved visiting Vat Xieng Toung, the oldest and one of the most extraordinary monasteries encountered by me.

Lao Cuisine


Lao Cuisine-purelaosThe best part of my visit to Laos was tasting the delicious food. The food here is not just delicious but clean too. I loved the specialty cakes sold here. Enjoyed Lao coffee thoroughly, known as a high-grade beverage throughout the world and had a great time savoring the delicacies in restaurants along Mekong River!

I never felt I was visiting a foreign country throughout the trip. In love with the small roads, green row of trees, ancient temples and warm smile of Lao people, I plan to visit Laos again soon.